Fuel Savings thru Biking/Light Rail a Reality

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by oilfreeandhappy, Jan 19, 2006.

  1. There has been talk on this board stating that a single-occupant
    automobile sometimes has less fuel usage than light rail or buses. The
    data put forth for the most part was accurate, but it ignores all the
    other stages of fuel usage that is prevalent in an automobile and oil
    economy. Consider these facts:

    1. 65% of the oil used in the US is imported, most of it from the other
    side of the world. This oil is shipped in tankers which use vast
    amounts of oil. Electricity is mostly powered from local
    fuels/sources.

    2. Incredible amounts of oil and other types of energy are used in road
    paving and repair.

    3. Steel manufacture is a major user of all types of energy.
    Automobiles, bridges, roads (many road surfaces have steel grids in the
    form of rebar or heavy gage cables), barriers are all comprised of
    steel. Yes, light rail uses steel, but much less. Once the tracks are
    laid, that's it, and the life of railcars is much longer than
    automobiles.

    I'm sure there is much more that I missed - escort ships for oil
    shipments, service industries for the automobile (traffic police,
    traffic courts, etc), oil spill cleanup associated energy costs, oil
    exploration, etc.).

    So, as you can see, to simply take a BTU figure for gasoline used by a
    car vs. electricity used by light rail does not represent the whole
    picture.
     
    Tags:


  2. Dan Connelly

    Dan Connelly Guest

    oilfreeandhappy wrote:

    > 1. 65% of the oil used in the US is imported, most of it from the other
    > side of the world. This oil is shipped in tankers which use vast
    > amounts of oil. Electricity is mostly powered from local
    > fuels/sources.


    What, like coal? Look, I hardly think one wants to advocate a shift to
    more coal use.
     
  3. Wayne Pein

    Wayne Pein Guest

    oilfreeandhappy wrote:
    > There has been talk on this board stating that a single-occupant
    > automobile sometimes has less fuel usage than light rail or buses. The
    > data put forth for the most part was accurate, but it ignores all the
    > other stages of fuel usage that is prevalent in an automobile and oil
    > economy. Consider these facts:
    >
    > 1. 65% of the oil used in the US is imported, most of it from the other
    > side of the world. This oil is shipped in tankers which use vast
    > amounts of oil. Electricity is mostly powered from local
    > fuels/sources.



    Like coal from West Virginia!

    >
    > 2. Incredible amounts of oil and other types of energy are used in road
    > paving and repair.


    That bring the food you eat.

    >
    > 3. Steel manufacture is a major user of all types of energy.
    > Automobiles, bridges, roads (many road surfaces have steel grids in the
    > form of rebar or heavy gage cables), barriers are all comprised of
    > steel. Yes, light rail uses steel, but much less. Once the tracks are
    > laid, that's it, and the life of railcars is much longer than
    > automobiles.


    I demand a coal powered rail line to my front door!

    So, Mr. Oilfree Anonymous, step out your front door and take the light
    rail to the post office, then to visit a relative, and finally to pick
    up a few items at the grocery before heading home.

    Wayne
     
  4. Wayne Pein

    Wayne Pein Guest

    oilfreeandhappy wrote:

    > There has been talk on this board stating that a single-occupant
    > automobile sometimes has less fuel usage than light rail or buses. The
    > data put forth for the most part was accurate, but it ignores all the
    > other stages of fuel usage that is prevalent in an automobile and oil
    > economy. Consider these facts:


    Instead of making arguments supporting the sinkhole that is light rail,
    why don't you lobby to convert all light rail lines into *covered* bike
    paths with inexpensive rental bikes and trikes available. That would
    really save energy, public money, and enhance the health of the users.
    For those who don't bike, cycle rickshaws can be employed. If you want
    to waste some energy, the covered roof can have fans that provide a
    tailwind.

    Wayne
     
  5. Hi Wayne,
    Didn't mean to be anonymous. My name is Jim. I'm all for biking. I
    commute to work year-round by cycling. Bicycles blend well with Mass
    Transit, as most systems accomodate a bicycle.

    I certainly don't have all the answers regarding electricity generation
    methods. I am very much into wind energy, and I own stock in Vestas,
    the leading wind energy manufacturer in the world. Obviously wind
    can't solve all our energy needs. I despise nuclear power based on a
    moral objection. I don't think we should leave these waste products
    for future generations to contend with. Past generations didn't leave
    this crap for me. No question, coal is a dirty industry, however the
    pollution controls are at the plant level, where containment is more
    easily accomplished. Currently this is mostly being done on a
    voluntary basis, as Christine Whitman, Bush's EPA secretary relaxed the
    regulations on this industry. These kind of actions make it less
    likely that Wind and Solar solutions will be implemented, because they
    artificially hold down the price of fossil fuels.

    Light rail has had some successes and some failures (if based on
    financial principles) in the US. Denver, St. Louis, Minneapolis, and
    Dallas have been very successful. Other rail mass transit (subways,
    heavy rail, etc) is very successful and absolutely necessary in large
    cities like NY, Chicago, DC and Boston. I hear ridership in Baltimore,
    LA, and some others is lower than anticipated. In general, installing
    rail mass transit is financially advantageous when a city is confronted
    with condensed gridlock, and has no place to expand highways. In these
    cases, the cost of light rail can be cheaper than tearing down
    buildings, relocating people and businesses, and expanding highways.
    Adding buses, although more affordable, is usually not a solution in
    these cases, because the buses are confronted by the same gridlock as
    the automobile, so it offers no advantage to the commuter.
     
  6. Wayne Pein

    Wayne Pein Guest

    oilfreeandhappy wrote:

    > Hi Wayne,
    > Didn't mean to be anonymous. My name is Jim. I'm all for biking. I
    > commute to work year-round by cycling. Bicycles blend well with Mass
    > Transit, as most systems accomodate a bicycle.


    Jim,

    I think the benefits of bicycle and mass transit are contingent upon the
    local. Short haul mass transit competes with bicycling, siphoning off
    riders. I read a European study demonstrating this (though I cannot find
    the citation), I see it in action in my community, and it makes
    intuitive sense.

    Wayne
     
  7. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    On Thu, 19 Jan 2006 18:03:45 +0000, Dan Connelly wrote:

    > What, like coal? Look, I hardly think one wants to advocate a shift to
    > more coal use.


    Which one(s)? Many do. Just remember this the next time you vote.

    Matt O.
     
  8. Paul Hobson

    Paul Hobson Guest

    oilfreeandhappy wrote:
    > Hi Wayne,
    > Didn't mean to be anonymous. My name is Jim. I'm all for biking. I
    > commute to work year-round by cycling. Bicycles blend well with Mass
    > Transit, as most systems accomodate a bicycle.
    >
    > I certainly don't have all the answers regarding electricity generation
    > methods. I am very much into wind energy, and I own stock in Vestas,
    > the leading wind energy manufacturer in the world. Obviously wind
    > can't solve all our energy needs. I despise nuclear power based on a
    > moral objection. I don't think we should leave these waste products
    > for future generations to contend with.


    Moral objection?!?

    Funny how the reprocessing technology that has existed in Europe since
    the 70's is pretty much made totally economically infeasible by
    ridiculous regulation

    ....that was called for by people with "moral objections" to the cleanest
    and safest energy ever ignored by the US.

    Did you know that the three to four month supply of coal at every
    coal-fired plant emits more background radiation than a modern and
    maintained nuclear plant?


    sigh...
    --
    Paul M. Hobson
    Georgia Institute of Technology
    ..:change the f to ph to reply:.
     
  9. Paul Hobson wrote:
    > ...
    > Funny how the reprocessing technology that has existed in Europe since
    > the 70's is pretty much made totally economically infeasible by
    > ridiculous regulation....


    Reprocessing spent nuclear fuel in the proper manner yields by-products
    that can be made to do neat tricks like this:
    <http://www.rmiembassyus.org/Permanent%20Exhibition/NUCLEAR%20TESTS_files/usnuc_files/26.jpg>.

    --
    Tom Sherman - Fox River Valley
     
  10. Reprocessing is just a smoke-screen. Here's some highlights from a
    Princeton article, along with the link:

    Domestic political opposition to expanded at-reactor spent-fuel storage
    or central storage sites made shipment of spent fuel abroad for
    reprocessing their only alternative to shutting down their reactors.
    Storage of spent fuel is cheaper, safer, and more environmentally
    benign than reprocessing, which produces multiple types of radioactive
    waste that must be stored in any case, but host communities require
    assurances that interim spent-fuel storage will not become permanent.

    Given the loss of foreign customers, the continuation of the costly
    reprocessing of domestic spent fuel is being questioned in both Britain
    and France. A French government study concluded that, if France stops
    reprocessing in 2010, it will save 28 to 39 billion francs (US$4 to 5
    billion) over the remaining lifetime of its current fleet of power
    reactors.

    Even 50 years after discharge, the radiation level from penetrating
    gamma rays a meter away from an assembly of spent light water-reactor
    fuel rods is 5 to 10 Sieverts/hour--enough to assure a lethal dose in
    less than an hour.

    http://www.princeton.edu/~globsec/publications/pdf/Sciencev293n5539.pdf#search='reprocessing%20spent%20nuclear%20fuel'
     
  11. A Muzi

    A Muzi Guest

    > oilfreeandhappy wrote:
    -snip-
    >>I despise nuclear power based on a
    >> moral objection. I don't think we should leave these waste products
    >> for future generations to contend with.


    Paul Hobson wrote:
    > Moral objection?!?
    > Funny how the reprocessing technology that has existed in Europe since
    > the 70's is pretty much made totally economically infeasible by
    > ridiculous regulation
    > ...that was called for by people with "moral objections" to the cleanest
    > and safest energy ever ignored by the US.
    > Did you know that the three to four month supply of coal at every
    > coal-fired plant emits more background radiation than a modern and
    > maintained nuclear plant?
    > sigh...


    Around here, the children of the rich drive expensive
    station wagons (oops! 'sport vehicles') with multiple bumper
    stickers - anti-nuke, anti-oil drilling, anti-expansion of
    power plants, etc etc. You gotta wonder what kind of energy
    they _would_ like.

    --
    Andrew Muzi
    www.yellowjersey.org
    Open every day since 1 April, 1971
     
  12. Luke

    Luke Guest

  13. Paul Hobson

    Paul Hobson Guest

  14. Paul Hobson

    Paul Hobson Guest

    A Muzi wrote:
    >> oilfreeandhappy wrote:

    >
    > -snip-
    >
    >>> I despise nuclear power based on a
    >>> moral objection. I don't think we should leave these waste products
    >>> for future generations to contend with.

    >
    >
    > Paul Hobson wrote:
    >
    >> Moral objection?!?
    >> Funny how the reprocessing technology that has existed in Europe since
    >> the 70's is pretty much made totally economically infeasible by
    >> ridiculous regulation
    >> ...that was called for by people with "moral objections" to the
    >> cleanest and safest energy ever ignored by the US.
    >> Did you know that the three to four month supply of coal at every
    >> coal-fired plant emits more background radiation than a modern and
    >> maintained nuclear plant?
    >> sigh...

    >
    >
    > Around here, the children of the rich drive expensive station wagons
    > (oops! 'sport vehicles') with multiple bumper stickers - anti-nuke,
    > anti-oil drilling, anti-expansion of power plants, etc etc. You gotta
    > wonder what kind of energy they _would_ like.
    >


    In the words of a Finnish protester who was posed the question, "So
    where would you like to get your energy"

    Answer: "I'll just plug things into the wall"

    [thud]

    --
    Paul M. Hobson
    Georgia Institute of Technology
    ..:change the f to ph to reply:.
     
  15. Paul Hobson

    Paul Hobson Guest

    oilfreeandhappy wrote:
    > Reprocessing is just a smoke-screen. Here's some highlights from a
    > Princeton article, along with the link:
    >
    > Domestic political opposition to expanded at-reactor spent-fuel storage
    > or central storage sites made shipment of spent fuel abroad for
    > reprocessing their only alternative to shutting down their reactors.
    > Storage of spent fuel is cheaper, safer, and more environmentally
    > benign than reprocessing, which produces multiple types of radioactive
    > waste that must be stored in any case, but host communities require
    > assurances that interim spent-fuel storage will not become permanent.
    >
    > Given the loss of foreign customers, the continuation of the costly
    > reprocessing of domestic spent fuel is being questioned in both Britain
    > and France. A French government study concluded that, if France stops
    > reprocessing in 2010, it will save 28 to 39 billion francs (US$4 to 5
    > billion) over the remaining lifetime of its current fleet of power
    > reactors.
    >
    > Even 50 years after discharge, the radiation level from penetrating
    > gamma rays a meter away from an assembly of spent light water-reactor
    > fuel rods is 5 to 10 Sieverts/hour--enough to assure a lethal dose in
    > less than an hour.
    >
    > http://www.princeton.edu/~globsec/publications/pdf/Sciencev293n5539.pdf#search='reprocessing%20spent%20nuclear%20fuel'
    >


    I'm not ignoring, you...I just have to run out for now. I'll give proper
    responses/concessions in the pm
    \\paul

    --
    Paul M. Hobson
    Georgia Institute of Technology
    ..:change the f to ph to reply:.
     
  16. SriBikeJi

    SriBikeJi Guest

    Paul Hobson wrote:

    > In the words of a Finnish protester who was posed the question, "So
    > where would you like to get your energy"
    >
    > Answer: "I'll just plug things into the wall"
    >
    > [thud]
    >


    Stupid and funny.

    Stupid and not so funny is the answer of the U.S.: We'll invade other
    countries, maiming, bombing, and killing innocents.
     
  17. Tim McNamara

    Tim McNamara Guest

    SriBikeJi <[email protected]> writes:

    > Paul Hobson wrote:
    >
    >> In the words of a Finnish protester who was posed the question, "So
    >> where would you like to get your energy" Answer: "I'll just plug
    >> things into the wall" [thud]
    >>

    >
    > Stupid and funny.
    >
    > Stupid and not so funny is the answer of the U.S.: We'll invade
    > other countries, maiming, bombing, and killing innocents.


    But then they'll be free. Well, except for the dead ones, the maimed
    ones, the crippled ones and the ones whose homes and livelihoods are
    destroyed.
     
  18. Jay Beattie

    Jay Beattie Guest

    "A Muzi" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > > oilfreeandhappy wrote:

    > -snip-
    > >>I despise nuclear power based on a
    > >> moral objection. I don't think we should leave these waste

    products
    > >> for future generations to contend with.

    >
    > Paul Hobson wrote:
    > > Moral objection?!?
    > > Funny how the reprocessing technology that has existed in

    Europe since
    > > the 70's is pretty much made totally economically infeasible

    by
    > > ridiculous regulation
    > > ...that was called for by people with "moral objections" to

    the cleanest
    > > and safest energy ever ignored by the US.
    > > Did you know that the three to four month supply of coal at

    every
    > > coal-fired plant emits more background radiation than a

    modern and
    > > maintained nuclear plant?
    > > sigh...

    >
    > Around here, the children of the rich drive expensive
    > station wagons (oops! 'sport vehicles') with multiple bumper
    > stickers - anti-nuke, anti-oil drilling, anti-expansion of
    > power plants, etc etc. You gotta wonder what kind of energy
    > they _would_ like.


    Well, one way we could save energy is if you were not open EVERY
    DAY since 1 April, 1971. The energy we could have saved by your
    closing on holidays for the last 34 years would have been enough
    to heat my house for a year or more. -- Jay Beattie.
     
  19. Ron Ruff

    Ron Ruff Guest

    Tim McNamara wrote:
    >
    > But then they'll be free. Well, except for the dead ones, the maimed
    > ones, the crippled ones and the ones whose homes and livelihoods are
    > destroyed.


    I think you are being overly optimistic... or maybe naive.

    If democracy actually happened, it would be outlawed.
     
  20. Tim McNamara

    Tim McNamara Guest

    "Ron Ruff" <[email protected]> writes:

    > Tim McNamara wrote:
    >>
    >> But then they'll be free. Well, except for the dead ones, the
    >> maimed ones, the crippled ones and the ones whose homes and
    >> livelihoods are destroyed.

    >
    > I think you are being overly optimistic... or maybe naive.


    Sarcastic, actually.

    > If democracy actually happened, it would be outlawed.


    Not democracy, just Democrats.
     
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